Staff at the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy provided early technical support for a medical marijuana research study that became the basis of the bill awaiting Gov. Mark Dayton’s signature.
If that news isn’t surprising, consider this: Although the board takes no official position on the medical efficacy of the plant, it has made the process of reforming marijuana laws in Minnesota more difficult.
The board exists to regulate Minnesota pharmacists. But part of its job includes overseeing the classification of drugs and re-evaluating those lists once a year to determine which drugs still belong there. Marijuana is considered a schedule one controlled substance, alongside opiates.
That classification came into question in 2010 and 2011 when a cannabis reform activist named Kurtis Hanna petitioned the board to remove the plant from its schedule one list, opening the door to research. On both occasions the board said no.
“It would have changed the whole ball game,” Hanna says. “All the legislators this session couldn’t have been able to say the experts haven’t deemed the plant to be medically accepted.”
Read more over at the Minneapolis City Pages.